A new app is a revolutionary step to ensuring the safety of walkers and trampers in New Zealand, says the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC).
Plan My Walk launched on Monday and is also designed to make planning easier by bringing the most important information needed in one place, in what is believed to be a world first.
The app, available for iOS and Android users, was developed using in excess of 1000 hours of research and development by the MSC, and includes MetService weather forecasts and gear lists as well as more than 1000 Department of Conservation (DoC) tracks.
"We are really excited to get the app out there in the community and see how people use it and see how it helps them with planning and preparing for their adventures," MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley said.
MSC says the app addresses common incident causes such as an overambitious choice of route, a lack of sufficient fitness and people taking longer than expected to reach their destination. These three factors combined cause 30 percent of all tramping search and rescue operations.
As well as being able to comment on tracks, users will be able to create a trip plan, add group members, share the plan with others and assign emergency contacts.
"We are really confident there is a need for this type of app and that it will make a difference," Daisley said.
"Our research indicated that it was really important that users could share intel with others because this type of advice can be some of the most helpful when users are planning."
One of the other goals of the app is to encourage Kiwis to find new opportunities to explore parts of Aotearoa they may never have visited before.